I bought the first six books of this series several years ago in paperback, but I wish I hadn’t. I think if I read this by audio instead of hard copy, I would have enjoyed it more. (I really enjoyed my audio re-read of the first book a couple of months ago. Luke Daniels is one of my favorite narrators.) But I feel like it would be wasting all that money I spent, so I’m committed to do hard copies at least through book six. All of that to say, this book was fun, but I wasn’t wowed by it or anything. Nothing grabbed me.
The book is supposedly about Atticus and the Tempe witches teaming up against a coven from Germany that they both have history with, who have suddenly invaded their territory, but this is really just one more consequence among many rippling out from the events of the last book. These new witches wouldn’t have dared to encroach if there wasn’t a power vacuum caused by the death of the six betraying witches. Same goes for the Bacchants who are making their way down from Las Vegas to take up residence in Scottsdale (of course), and the mysterious holy men who are dogging Atticus’s every move. He also has to deal with the demon remnants from the fight at the Superstition mountains, one of whom is a fallen angel; many of them ran off after their side lost the fight, and they have been causing trouble elsewhere in the valley.
Nothing about this book was bad or anything, it was just a pretty good time the whole way through. Oberon the telepathic dog continues to be the best. Atticus makes strange friends and enemies everywhere he goes, and half the book is him being attacked by one entity or another. His weird war with his neighbor escalates. The elderly Irish widow McDonaugh makes for a refreshing ally (not many older people in contemporary fantasy books). His relationship with his vampire and werewolf attorneys continues to be amusing and also a source of potential conflict. Granuaile, his new apprentice, doesn’t do much here. I would like more agency for her. And we’re introduced to Coyote, or one of the Coyotes (each native tribe has one), who teams up with Atticus, of course tricking him in the process as well, because that’s what Coyotes do.
Weirdly, I saw an entire pack of coyotes in the middle of the road this morning. They were extremely cute and I had to honk my horn to get them to move their butts. Before now, I’ve only ever seen one at a time. It was exciting for me.